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Sadlers Wells celebrates its 20th anniversary in its current theatre

Sadlers Wells celebrates its 20th anniversary in their current theatre

Sadler’s Wells commissions 20 new works to celebrate 20th anniversary in current theatre


By John Published 2 February 2018

Sadler’s Wells marks the 20th anniversary of its present building with 20 newly commissioned works amongst a number of new and exciting projects for 2018. These include a special triple bill performed in its anniversary week in October from three distinctive choreographic voices who are creating work for their stage for the first time: Julie Cunningham, Alesandra Seutin and Botis Seva.


The full Summer and Autumn season:


The Tap Pack                                                               


Tuesday 1 – Saturday 19 May

Inspired by the kings of swing: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr, The Tap

Pack brings a new, exhilarating energy to a timeless style.

With slick suits, sharp wit and songs from Sinatra to Ed Sheeran, Australia’s finest tap dancing performers are a cocktail of pure entertainment, serving up classics with a twist, with a live four-piece band.


Akram Khan Company                                                           

LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO                                                                                                                                        

Portraits in Otherness                                                                     


Tuesday 5 – Friday 8 June 

Portraits in Otherness is a new platform initiated by Akram Khan and his producer Farooq Chaudhry, seeking to transfer the intangible values and philosophy of Akram Khan Company to a new generation of talents.

They invite four highly charismatic and distinctive dance artists to present solo work: Joy Alpuerto Ritter, Ching-Ying Chien, Dickson Mbi and Maya Dong, each embodying the echoes and primitive beauty of many dance languages both learned and inherited.


Maya Dong and Dickson Mbi: Tuesday 5 & Wednesday 6 June at 8pm

Ching-Ying Chien and Joy Alpuerto Ritter: Thursday 7 & Friday 8 June at 8pm

A Sadler’s Wells co-production

Akram Khan is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist


Birmingham Royal Ballet                                                 

Romeo & Juliet

Tuesday 12 & Wednesday 13 June

Kenneth MacMillian’s masterpiece returns to Sadler’s Wells for the first time since 2010.

Set to the stirring Prokofiev score, played live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Birmingham Royal Ballet presents Romeo & Juliet, the famous tragedy of two star-crossed lovers told through some of the most ardent pas de deux ever choreographed.


Alexandra Waierstall                                                                            


And here we meet                                                                                                


Thursday 14 & Friday 15 June

Together with dancers Dani Brown, Evangelia Randou and composer HAUSCHKA, Alexandra Waierstall delves into hidden geographies, abandoned cities and no man’s lands, and investigates the relationship between man and woman, the environment and choreography.

With an acute sense of musicality and the body’s materiality, Waierstall, a distinctive new voice from Germany, creates a convincing world where new relationships arise between language, movement and space.

Contains nudity


Birmingham Royal Ballet                                                 

In the Upper Room mixed programme                                            


Friday 15 & Saturday 16 June

In this triple bill, Twyla Tharp’s monochrome In the Upper Room is set ablaze by energetic choreography and red pointe shoes. The virtuosity of ballet technique is glorified by Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate and former Birmingham Royal Ballet dancer Alexander Whitley in Kin, plus new work by George Williamson as part of the Ballet Now programme.

Pre-show talk: Saturday 16 June at 6.30pm (free to BRB Friends and same day ticket holders)





Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 June

Inspired by the work of Sigmund Freud, WHIST invites you on a journey into the unconscious mind, through the dreams, fears and desires of a fictional family.

This one-hour experience merges physical theatre, interactive Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and an art installation, in an environment that blurs the boundaries between consciousness and unconsciousness, reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual, exploring the story from one of the 76 different perspectives.


Semperoper Ballett (Dresden)

All Forsythe

Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 June

Based in Dresden, the Semperoper Ballett is internationally renowned for its distinguished ballet technique with both classical and contemporary repertoire. This triple bill of works by the visionary William Forsythe compliments the dancers’ technical expertise and physical prowess.

Opening the programme is the groundbreaking In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, a work that famously changed ballet forever with its deconstruction of the classical ballet technique. Neue Suite is made up of a series of pas de deux, choreographed between 1987 and 1999, set to music by Bach, Berio and Handel. Finally, lit by a single spotlight, 11 dancers cavort around a winding wooden wall in the energetic and expeditious Enemy in the Figure.


Nederlands Dans Theater 1

León & Lightfoot / Pite / Goecke

Tuesday 26 – Friday 29 June

The celebrated NDT returns with a revelatory programme featuring two works by resident choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot: Shoot the Moon, an exploration of hidden emotions to a score by Philip Glass, and Stop-Motion, an attempt to capture the past, set to Max Richter’s haunting music.

There’s a battle for control in The Statement, created by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Crystal Pite with playwright Jonathon Young, the masterminds behind the Oliver Award-winning Betroffenheit. And Marco Goecke takes inspiration from the music of Jeff Buckley in the emotion-driven Woke up Blind. Pite and Goecke are both NDT Associate Choreographers.

“One of world dance’s truly great companies” The Telegraph

Crystal Pite is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist


Hofesh Shechter Company

Grand Finale

Wednesday 4 – Saturday 7 July

Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Hofesh Shechter is known for his distinctive mix of dance, theatre and music. After a successful run last Autumn, Grand Finale returns with its vision of a world in freefall that is both bleak and beautiful.

10 dancers move with anarchic energy through a series of monolithic structures in Tom Scutt’s design, driven on by Shechter’s original music played live by an on-stage band. Grand Finale is at once wild, mesmerising and deeply elegiac.

Age Guidance: 14+

Hofesh Shechter is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist


Company of Elders                                                                           


Mixed Bill                                                                                                  


Friday 6 July

Since 1989, Company of Elders, Sadler’s Wells’ inspirational resident over-60s performance company, has been demonstrating the power of lifelong creativity and proving it is never too late to start dancing.

In this mixed bill they bring new work from three exciting female choreographers: Holly Blakey, Adrienne Hart and Seeta Patel. Showcasing their own unique style, these choreographers will draw out new ways of moving from this established company.

A Sadler’s Wells 20th Anniversary Commission


Latitude Festival                                                                                                              


Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 July

Since 2008 Sadler’s Wells has presented dance at Latitude, to audiences in excess of 80,000 people across the years. This summer we return to the festival for the 11th consecutive year, presenting a diverse programme on the Waterfront Stage. Full line-up to be announced.



Love Chapter 2                                                                                             


Friday 13 & Saturday 14 July

Following her guest artistic direction of NYDC, Sadler’s Wells’ newest Associate Artist Sharon Eyal brings L-E-V, the Israeli company that she heads up alongside Gai Behar, in its first reappearance since its Sadler’s Wells Debut in 2016.

OCD Love, with its focus on the heart through the lens of obsessive-compulsive disorder, elicited critical and audience praise alike. Love Chapter 2 builds on those themes with an even darker take on loneliness, despair and the search for connection, in Eyal and Behar’s trademark club-like atmosphere, enhanced with a score by music collaborator Ori Lichtik.

Sharon Eyal was appointed an Associate Artist in the 20th anniversary year. Love Chapter 2 is the second of four presentations of her work at Sadler’s Wells in 2018.

“A grave beauty” The Guardian on OCD Love

Sharon Eyal is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist


Company Wayne McGregor


Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 July

For 25 years, Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Wayne McGregor has made choreography that interrogates life through the experience of the body. Now McGregor turns his attention to the body as archive, with a dance portrait illuminated by the sequencing of his own genome. In a continuous reimagining, Autobiography is reinvented at each performance, assembled from a collection of choreographic volumes which unfold uniquely every time.

Wayne McGregor is joined by collaborators: electronic musician and producer Jlin, designer Ben Cullen-Williams, lighting designer Lucy Carter, artist and designer Aitor Throup and dramaturg Uzma Hameed.

“Mesmerisingly good” The Guardian

A Sadler’s Wells co-production

Wayne McGregor is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist

Company Wayne McGregor is a Resident Company


Carmen La Cubana                                                                                               


Wednesday 1 – Saturday 18 August

Carmen La Cubana is a seductive new musical featuring Bizet’s classic score flavoured with authentic Cuban styles. Inspired by Oscar Hammerstein II’s Broadway hit Carmen Jones, Christopher Renshaw (The King and I) directs this UK premiere, with new orchestrations by Tony Award-winner Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton & Dear Evan Hansen), mixing opera with salsa, mambo, rumba and cha-cha-cha and including musical favourites such as Habanera.

Featuring a cast of over 40 singers, dancers and musicians, Carmen La Cubanais a sultry take on one of the most famous operas ever created, set against the simmering turmoil of the Cuban Revolution in 1958.

 “Hugely enjoyable and sexy… a fantastic adaptation” Le Parisien

Audio described performance: Saturday 11 August at 2.30pm

Touch Tour: Saturday 11 August at 12.45pm


Wilderness Festival                                                                                                       


Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 August

 Sadler’s Wells presents work for the third year at Wilderness, the award-winning arts festival in Oxfordshire. Full line-up to be announced.


Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo                                                            


Tuesday 11 – Saturday 22 September

The award-winning all-male comedy ballet company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (simply “The Trocks” to their friends) storms back to The Peacock with two programmes of side-splitting send-ups and hilarious homages to classical ballet.

Programme A includes Swan Lake (Act II), Trovatiara and The Little Humpback Horse. Programme B features Les Sylphides, Napoli and Raymonda’s Wedding.


Natalia Osipova

Pure Dance                                                                                                  


Wednesday 12 – Sunday 16 September

 Superstar ballerina Natalia Osipova returns to Sadler’s Wells with a programme of dance works exploring both contemporary and classical repertoire rarely seen in the UK, including new commissions by Alexei Ratmansky and Iván Pérez. It features special guest David Hallberg – a Principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. The full programme and further details of Osipova’s special guests will be announced soon.

“A spirit of joy, of technical bravura, of sheerest delight” Financial Times on Natalia Osipova

A Sadler’s Wells 20th Anniversary Commission

A Sadler’s Wells Production


English National Ballet

Lest We Forget

Thursday 20 – Saturday 29 September

To commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War, English National Ballet revives its “moving and ambitious” (The Independent) triptych reflecting the experiences of those who fought, and those who stayed behind.

The programme features works by two Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists: Russell Maliphant’s Second Breath and Akram Khan’s award-winning Dust. Also presented is Liam Scarlett’s No Man’s Land, an evocative piece that intertwines the destinies of the soldiers and munition workers.

“True to its title – it stays with you long after curtain-down” Daily Telegraph


New English Ballet Theatre                                                                                 


The Four Seasons / Remembrance

Thursday 27 – Saturday 29 September

 A company dedicated to nurturing emerging talent, New English Ballet Theatre returns with two contrasting works.

Former English National Ballet soloist and choreographer Jenna Lee takes Max Richter’s vibrant re-composition of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as the foundation for her neoclassical ballet. Created by world-renowned choreographer Wayne Eagling, Remembrance is inspired by Marie Rambert’s life during the Great War and is set to Handel’s Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, played live by The English Concert with chorus and soloists.


Taj Express                                                                                                            THE PEACOCK

Tuesday 2 – Saturday 20 October

Vaibhavi and Shruti Merchant’s glitzy Bollywood extravaganza is set to dazzle once more as it returns to The Peacock. Featuring music by Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman, and Bollywood composers, Salim & Sulaiman Merchant and Monty Sharma, Taj Express showcases a fusion of classical Indian and contemporary dance in a celebration of the world’s most prolific film industry.


William Forsythe

A Quiet Evening of Dance                                                                                      


Thursday 4 – Saturday 6 October

William Forsythe is one of the foremost choreographers of his generation. For this unusual configuration of new and existing work, Forsythe creates an intimate, pure evening of choreography, stripped down to its essence. The works range from sparse analytic condensation to baroque inspired counterpoint. The intricate phrasing of the dancers’ breath is the primary accompaniment for a distillation of the geometric origins of classical ballet.

The evening is performed by seven of Forsythe’s most trusted collaborators who promise to provide insight into the workings of ballet and the mind of the man who has dedicated his work to this task.

A Sadler’s Wells 20th Anniversary Commission

A Sadler’s Wells Production

Director’s Conversation: Friday 5 October at 6pm


Young Associates                                                                            


Mixed Bill                                                                                                 


Tuesday 9 & Wednesday 10 October

This exciting mixed bill is the first opportunity to see the work of the inaugural Young Associates, Sadler’s Wells’ new programme that aims to both celebrate and support young artists under the age of 25, as they embark on their choreographic careers.

In their Sadler’s Wells debuts, burgeoning choreographers Anthony Matsena, Wilhelmina Ojanen, Ruby Portus and Christopher Thomas showcase the innovative talent and original voices that mark them out as choreographers to watch.

A Sadler’s Wells 20th Anniversary Commission

A Sadler’s Wells Production


Julie Cunningham / Alesandra Seutin / Botis Seva



Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 October

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the current theatre, Sadler’s Wells presents three commissions by a new generation of UK based dance-makers: Julie Cunningham, Alesandra Seutin and Botis Seva.

Julie Cunningham recently launched Julie Cunningham Company after 15 years of dancing with the renowned Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Michael Clark Company. Alesandra Seutin founded Vocab Dance Company in 2007 and has been making work, performing and teaching internationally for over a decade. Botis Seva and his collective Far From the Norm have previously performed at Sadler’s Wells with Breakin’ Convention, and curated a Wild Card evening. Using the foundations of hip hop, Seva has created a physical dance language of his own.

Reckonings showcases distinctive voices who help us see the world in a different light.

A Sadler’s Wells 20th Anniversary Commission

A Sadler’s Wells Production


Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs                                                                                          


Tuesday 23 October – Saturday 10 November

Dein Perry’s multi award-winning Tap Dogs returns to the London stage, showcasing high voltage, rugged, raw talent.

The global smash hit has appeared in over 330 cities on six continents and has been seen live by over 12 million people. A worldwide television audience of over 3.4 billion saw 1,000 Tap Dogs performing in the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.

“Positively electrifying” The New York Observer


Birmingham Repertory Theatre                                                                          


The Snowman ™

Thursday 22 November – Sunday 30 December

Based on the much-loved book by Raymond Briggs and film directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates, this festive stage show has transported generations of children to the wintery wonderland of a boy and his magical snowman.

With a wonderful mix of exquisite dancing choreographed by Robert North and Howard Blake’s music performed live, including Walking in the Air, Bill Alexander directs the enchanting show, which has design by Ruari Murchison and lighting by Tim Mitchell.

By arrangement with Snowman Enterprises Limited (A Penguin Company) and Chester Music Limited.


New Adventures

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake                                                                                                                                     

Tuesday 4 December 2018 – Sunday 27 January 2019

Swan Lake returns with a fresh look for the 21st century. Retaining the iconic elements of the original, Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Matthew Bourne and award-winning designers Lez Brotherston (set and costumes) and Paule Constable (lighting) will create a re-imagining of the classic production.

Thrilling, audacious and emotive, this Swan Lake is perhaps best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble. Collecting over 30 international accolades including an Olivier and three Tony Awards, Bourne’s powerful interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece is a passionate and contemporary Swan Lake for our times.

Matthew Bourne is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist


Digital plans

In a new partnership with the BBC, Sadler’s Wells curates and creates four 30-minute artist-led films for broadcast on BBC Four this April as part of the channel’s dance season. Each film introduces audiences to a different dance artist from diverse backgrounds and styles, taking us behind the scenes to observe them at different points in their career as they create new work or prepare for a new performance. Including extended sequences of performance, each film offers viewers a unique insight into the world of dance in Britain today.

Acclaimed former Royal Ballet Principal, 43-year-old Zenaida Yanowsky, plans to overcome knee surgery and fight her body back to fitness to perform one of ballet’s best-known solos, The Dying Swan, marking one of her last public performances. Transitioning from his street dance roots to contemporary dance, Dickson Mbi prepares to choreograph and perform his first contemporary dance solo for an evening curated by Akram Khan Company.

Audacious and funny, Leeds-based Carlos Pons Guerra’s darkly humorous, highly theatrical and physical work often explores questions of gender and sexual identity. Now for the first time, he choreographs a new children’s production, Penguins, for Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which tells the true story of two male penguins raising a chick. Experimental and highly original, Shobana Jeyasingh reveals the research and creative process for her new work Contagion, which evokes the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed over 50 million people.

Production Company: Sadler’s Wells & ClearStory

Director: Glen Milner
Producer for Sadler’s Wells: Bia Oliveira
Executive Producers: Russell Barnes, Molly Milton, Alistair Spalding
Exec Producer for BBC: Emma Cahusac

Sadler’s Wells is also partnering with Channel 4’s Random Acts to commission three original films from Julie Cunningham, Alesandra Seutin and Botis Seva for broadcast later in the year. Linked to the new works the artists are creating for Reckonings in the 20th Anniversary week, the films will be creative entities in their own right, offering the three distinctive younger artists an opportunity to tell their stories in a different medium to a wider audience.

Random Acts is Channel 4’s short film strand dedicated to the arts, founded in 2011. Random Acts represent the worlds of art, music, dance, animation, spoken word, performance, plus uncategorisable combinations of the above, pushing boundaries, provoking thought and playing with form. The strand showcases work from as diverse a range of creative people as possible from across the UK and beyond – giving breaks to new talent and premiering work by established ones. Random Acts is commissioned by Catherine Bray and produced by Little Dot Studios.

Celestial Bodies is a new virtual reality experience adapted from Alexander Whitley’s production 8 Minutes, which premiered at the theatre in June 2017 and was commissioned as part of the New Wave Associates programme. This is the first arts-inspired experience made by the Guardian’s award-winning VR team, with the Alexander Whitley Dance Company in association with Sadler’s Wells. It uses the latest 360 and motion capture technology to explore the human relationship with the Sun, enabling viewers to get closer to the dancers. Audiences can preview it at Sadler’s Wells’ Sampled festival on 2 & 3 February 2018 and it will be available soon on VR platforms (Daydream, Cardboard, YouTube 360, HTC Vive).


Tickets for the Summer/Autumn 2018 season are on public sale from Monday 26 February at 10am.




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We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.